Tantrum tamers: Follow these simple steps
Try these tips and stick to them, and you will see a difference
- Stay calm
- Don’t give in
- Explain afterwards
There is nothing more challenging day to day than dealing with a toddler’s tantrum. And let’s face it they can start over pretty much anything, giving them the wrong cereal bowl or having the nerve to say ‘no you can’t have ice cream for breakfast’.
As much as we accept that tantrums are part and parcel of life with a toddler, we need to have a plan in place to help calm them down, especially when you are out and about. Mortifying.
So here’s some tips that you may want to try next time your toddler screams blue murder over a sippy cup or another equally trivial issue.
1. Stay cool
Sounds so easy doesn’t it? This is a classic one from anyone who gives advice when it comes to tantrums, but it is a crucial one. When you are trying to resist joining your toddler in a screaming fit as he loses control in the middle of the supermarket because you wouldn’t let him add chewing gum to the trolley, remember, that will only escalate the tantrum. If you engage in the battle, it will simply fuel him on to shout louder and scream for longer.
2. Never, ever give in to demands
However desperate you want to say, ‘OK, OK if you really want to paint the cat just do it,’ just for a quiet half an hour, don’t do it! If you give in once, your little angel/devil will learn from this that all he has to do is scream to get what he wants, and that just means more tantrums.
3. Stay nearby
As tempting as it is to leave the room to get away from the noise, it can actually make the situation worse. Your toddler may feel abandoned if you leave the room and again will just escalate the tantrum. The best thing to do is to ignore the screaming carry on doing whatever you were doing, potter about in the same room and just don’t give your toddler eye contact until he has calmed down.
4. Get to know the cause of most tantrums
Understanding what particular times of day or situations seem to set your little one off can help you plan to avoid at least some of the tantrums. Quite often it’s fairly simple things that turn an everyday upset into a full on tantrum. It can be as simple as he is overtired, hungry or doesn’t like to leave somewhere quickly. If it is any of these you can pre-empt them by trying to ensure he gets a nap when he really needs it, carry healthy snacks wherever you are and give plenty of gentle warnings when it’s coming up to leaving somewhere.
5. Chat after
Once he has exhausted himself from all the tantruming and he is back to his angelic self, it’s worth having a chat and explaining why he couldn’t have what he wanted and that in future, he is much more likely to get heard and maybe get what he wants if he stays calm and asks you.
Hmmm…we can but hope!